Canadian lineman taken by Chargers

ROB LONGLEY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:07 PM ET

Vaughn Martin is a mystery no more.

The hulking defensive lineman from the University of Western Ontario Mustangs made Canadian university football history today when he was the first CIS underclassman ever to be selected in the NFL draft.

Martin was selected in the third round (113th overall) by the San Diego Chargers, one of more than two dozen NFL teams that had been eyeing him closely the past several weeks.

The 6-foot-3, 331-pound defensive tackle raised eyebrows earlier this year when he declared himself for the NFL draft despite having three more years of eligibility remaining at Western. But his size and unique strength soon attracted attention from scouts throughout the NFL.

Western coach Greg Marshall moved Martin to defensive end for the 2008 season and he flourished, helping the Mustangs to tey Yates Cup title.

Nicknamed “Vicious” by his teammates, Martin was a force against the run.

Born on the island of Jamaica, Martin was raised in Toronto and London where he attended South Secondary School.

Prior to beginning his collegiate career, Martin competed for two summers with the Forest City Thunderbirds in the Central Ontario Football League. He also was a member of Team Canada, playing in the 2006 NFL Global Junior Championship in Detroit. He was named to the NFL Global Junior Championship X All-Tournament Team after helping Team Canada to a perfect 5-0 record, including five shutouts.

“When I first talked about the NFL, I didn’t want to make a big deal out of it,” Martin told Sun Media’s Morris Dalla Costa this week. “A lot of people said ‘NFL, what are you thinking?’

“Now the story is huge. It’s funny because it makes me feel even more insignificant. I’m still the same person I’ve always been.”

rob.longley@sunmedia.ca


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